Save on bills by using direct debit
Published: Monday 22nd October 12
Town hall finance chiefs are urging borough residents to use direct debit when it comes to paying their council tax and help keep Wandsworth’s bills as low as possible.
Direct debit is the cheapest way of collecting council tax and all the savings it provides can be returned to taxpayers in the form of lower bills.
Seven out of every ten residents are already paying their bills this way and this saves the town hall tens of thousands of pounds each year.
Finance spokesman Cllr Guy Senior said: "There are many benefits for residents if they use the direct debit system to pay their bills.
"It offers a safe, secure and convenient payment method and means they will not have the inconvenience of having to remember to pay each month. Once they have signed up they literally never have to worry about it again.
"There are five different payment dates they can choose from each month to suit their own circumstances and as long as there is enough money in their bank account they shouldn't ever miss a payment.
"And because direct debit reduces the costs incurred by town halls, the more people that sign up, the bigger the savings that can be passed back to taxpayers. Using direct debit can help keep council tax bills in Wandsworth among the country's lowest."
People can sign up to pay by direct debit using the council's fully automated 24 hour helpline on (020) 8871 7799. Alternatively visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/counciltax and fill in a direct debit instruction form or contact your bank or building society.
Wandsworth's council tax bills are currently the lowest in the entire country - a position that has been maintained constantly under different forms of local taxation for around the past 25 years.
This year's average Band D bill of £679 compares to a London average of £1,309. People living near Wimbledon and Putney Commons and Putney Heath pay a small additional amount to the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators (WPCC) for the upkeep of these open spaces.
Last year the town hall saved £30 million of taxpayer's money. Residents played a major role in securing this achievement and in helping keep council tax bills to a minimum.
Increased recycling rates helped save £700,000 a year, while the growing numbers of people using online services is helping to save an additional £500,000 a year.
The council is also doing its bit to drive down costs and save taxpayer's money.
As well as cutting management and office costs and making it easier for people to access services online, it is also working hard to secure better prices on contracts.
This includes the borough's new refuse and recycling contract which will deliver savings worth just under £8m over the course of the eight year deal, while also guaranteeing weekly bin collections.
Wandsworth also no longer sends any waste to landfill, instead sending non-recyclable waste to the Belvedere Energy to Waste plant which generates electricity.
The authority is also thinking of new ways to protect services - for example by looking to see whether outside providers could run local libraries more effectively and at lower cost.
For more information about council tax levels in Wandsworth and what makes up the charge, visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/counciltax